NBA Los Angeles Lakers

5 Reasons Why Los Angeles Lakers Fans Should Forgive Dwight Howard

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Lakers Fans Must Forgive Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard Lakers
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Dwight Howard will be making his first return to the Staples Center to play against his former team in the Los Angeles Lakers. There is certainly expected to be massive amounts of boos headed Howard's way as he faces of against the team that he left high and dry back in the summer of 2013. His departure wasn't exactly the most peaceful, especially since fans expected Howard to be the future cornerstone of the franchise. However, Howard did not feel the same way and as a result he escaped to the Houston Rockets when he finally hit the free agency market.

Last season, the Lakers had championship caliber expectations when acquiring both Howard and Steve Nash via trade. Unfortunately neither deal worked out very well, and it came at the expense of several draft picks as well as a talented player at the time in Andrew Bynum. Howard was constantly criticized for his performance last season and was even at one time involved in trade rumors. The Lakers eventually decided to play out the season, hoping that they could convince Howard to sign the max extension.

After several meetings with numerous teams, Howard decided it would be in his best interest to sign with the Rockets. Of course this move brought its fair amount of criticism, everywhere from the idea that Howard couldn't handle the spotlight to simply not being Laker material. Fans were extremely angry as they are used to attracting marquee free agents rather than having them ditch the franchise for a smaller market team.

What most fans don't realize is that this was not only the better fit for Howard but also the better fit for the Lakers. Therefore, fans have to forgive him and here are the reasons why.

Joseph Crevier covers the Los Angeles Lakers for Follow him on Twitter, @RealJoeCrev, and Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Ongoing Kobe-Dwight Feud

Kobe Bryant Dwight Howard
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It is no secret that Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant were not too fond of each other. Realistically this was not going to change even if Howard re-signed with the team. Laker fans would unquestionably rather have Bryant than Howard, so the Lakers are better off with Howard playing for a different team. Otherwise this feud would be ongoing until Bryant retired or until he ran Howard out of town.

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4. Lakers Would Not Have a Top Pick

Los Angeles Lakers 2014 Draft Prospects
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The most exciting part about this season is that the Lakers have just about secured themselves a top 5 pick in this year's draft. This draft is without a doubt the best that we have seen in years, so it has been the perfect season for Los Angeles to be terrible. If Howard would have re-signed the team would never be in this position to possibly draft a franchise altering player.

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3. Possibly No Nick Young

Nick Young Lakers
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Another one of the few bright spots this season has been Nick Young. Young was brought in after the news broke that Howard would not be staying, so who knows; this deal may have never happened. At that point in the offseason, the Lakers were simply trying to fill the roster with cheap one-year players, but Young has turned out to be a diamond in the rough. Without the departure of Howard we may have never experienced Swaggy P in purple and gold.

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2. Kevin Love Wouldn't Be Possible

Kevin Love Lakers
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What has every Lakers fan excited is the strong possibility of pursuing future free agent Kevin Love in 2015. Around the league it's sort of a known fact that Love wants to come back to Los Angeles where he played his college basketball to play for the Lakers. Fans have definitely been more enthusiastic about this idea than when the idea of Howard coming to Los Angeles was first floated around. If Howard re-signed, the Lakers would never have the cap space to sign such a superstar player as Love.

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1. Dwight Would Have Been Unhappy

Dwight Howard Lakers
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Finally, and most importantly, Dwight Howard would not have been happy if he decided to stick around. He has made it a well known fact that he plays his best when he is having fun and smiling. If Howard wasn't happy in his one year with the Lakers, why would he have been happy if he was stuck there for five more years? It just wouldn't have made any sense for Howard to re-sign, so it's time for Laker fans to forgive the man.